Adelaide’s earliest water supply was drawn from wells or bought from carters who siphoned water from the Torrens. From December 1860, water was pumped into the city from waterworks infrastructure built in this corner of Rundle Park. Later, in 1879, 1.4 hectares was officially removed from the park under the Adelaide Sewers and Waterworks Amendment Act. This area was further fenced off in 1906.
It wasn’t until 1984, after the phasing out of the depot, that the area was returned to Park Lands under the care control and management of the City Council. At that time, the octagonal valve house was re-located 20 metres from its original location, and restored as a reminder of its previous role, generations ago, in the first flow of Adelaide’s mains water.